Gosh is for people who don't believe in heck. Who the frell do they think they are.
Frag, Smeg, Felgercarb, Blatherskite, Dadgum, Fnord, Smurf
. I also knew a Mormon who used clever phonetic disguises to turn sinful expletives into squeaky-clean fun for the whole family. i.e. "Crystal Reports is such a piece of shiz. The way it interfaces with VB really kicks my trash." And sometimes I wonder if widely-accepted jargon words like cruft
apply. (and foobar
FUBAR is an abbreviation for "F'd up beyond all recognition" so it's actually a disguised cuss word. And the son of SNAFU -- Situation Normal All Fouled Up,
from GI's in Europe in World War II.
Often used in television shows to allow characters to appear to be swearing, while not upsetting the censors.
Harmless as they may appear, in conversation, they display the same uncomfortable emotions and probably aren't appropriate in job interviews, or formal design documentation. In code, however, they might make good dummy variable names. Especially in Perl. -- NickBensema
Absolutely. The point of them isn't to avoid offending. The point is to express anger and frustration, exactly as one would with a real curse, but distract oneself from doing so by expressing creativity at the same time. -- DanielKnapp
- Late Night With Conan O'Brien made krunk a household word.
- RedDwarf adopted 'Smeg' as an all-purpose cuss-word substitute. The word is possibly a short form of 'smegma', but that may be a coincidence - http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=smegma
- Back in my BigBlue days, there was a company-wide "office" application (used mostly for time & attendance, as far as I could tell) called PROFS. It was so reviled that "PROFS" was used as a FakeCussWord (as in "PROFS it! The PROFSing copier is broken again!"), though it was mostly limited to online/written use. (MikeSmith)
- I've used the Yosemite Sam method (from the Warner Brother's cartoon character) myself - rassafrakarickin.... (PeteHardie)
- Well, dad burn it! -- Hoss Cartwright
- The clothing company named "fcuk" (French Connection United Kingdom) used the acronym to create some attention-arresting billboards.
- The current (2001) fashion for writing pr0n instead of porn has been suggested as being intended to defeat text scans, but the most common attribution is that the term (like "newsfroup", "cow orker" and "grilfriend" before it) is the perpetuation of a faux-l33t misspelling.
- In one of LarryNiven's KnownSpace stories, "censored" was used as a cuss word. After it was said, one of the characters remarked something like, "Heh. 'Censored'. It used to be a joke, something you'd write instead of a real curse, to avoid offending people's sensibilities." (DanielKnapp) One of the stories in the Flatlander collection. Defenseless Dead?
- He also regaled us with tanj (ThereAintNoJustice?).
- Another popular one is [deleted expletive] or [expletive deleted] [The US Government introduced this to the American lexicon when the Nixon tapes were transcribed during Watergate. We can also thank Nixon for the hopelessly redundant "At this point in time" - instead of "now"]. Hey it's 2009- at least in the email circulating around here people are replacing [expletive deleted] with [redacted].
- The popular Sci-Fi channel show Farscape provides a useful set: frell, dren, yotz, tralk, hezmana. Some examples: "The plan is worse than flawed; it's completely frelled.", "What the yotz is going on here?", "Right, so I'm supposed to stay with the monochromatic tralk." (MichaelNygard)
- Fans of the HitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy can't say "Belgium" (Although English audiences were spared this terrible word, and just got to read 'fuck' instead).
- Science fiction and SF-based comics seem to be a prime breeding ground for FakeCussWords. 2000AD magazine is a case in point, probably because it prints material that is very distinctly British - harsh, grim adult sci-fi laced with a particular black humour that still has to be acceptable for somewhere besides the top shelf. Of its many regular features, Judge Dredd has "Grud" and "drokk"; Sinister Dexter has "funt", which is one of my favorites, and there was a one-off strip whose name escapes me mocking the video game "Urban Strike" that introduced "motherfunsters" to the world. "Lobo", another British SF comic, part of the DC stables, gave us "bastich".
- Another great example from 2000AD was the use of the word "snut" in RoboHunter?. It apparently became a source of complaints, as it sounded ruder than the words it stood in for.
- The band called the Funking Barstewards.
- Bowdlerized re-voiced movies on TV. Britain's channel ITV is notorious for its editing of movies; many people of my generation will recall such immortal gems as "I say we grease this rat fat son of a bitch right now" (from Aliens) and "Yippie-kay-yay kemo sabe" (from Die Hard) from the movies they would show on a semi-regular basis.
- American TV does this too, and for added amusement the dubbed word is often in a noticeably different voice.
- RepoMan?: Shoot - that melon farmer can just go flip himself. (Not an exact quote, but give you an idea of how the ModifiedForTelevision? version was re-dubbed to remove the swearing (of which there was quite a lot). I actually prefer that version to the original version, simply because the dubbing makes the movie just that little bit funnier still.)
- The TV version of Hoffa has Jack Nicholson, as Jimmy Hoffa, calling his worst enemies "crapshooters" time and time again. It adds some weird humor to a fairly serious movie.''
- The mental giants at my local radio station seem to have circumvented the FCC by saying "shiot" and "biotch" instead of the actual curse words on the air.
- In the comic KnightsOfTheDinnerTable the litany is "Firp Ding Blast!"
- The ComicCode forbids the use of all-caps 'FLICK' because when the letters are written closely together as they are in most comics, it can easily be mistaken for 'PLICK'. It's a joke, see.
- I used to be a part-time comic dealer in high school (yeah, I was dealin' in high school!) and shortly after Wizard magazine came out there was an article in there from some comic author (can't remember the name) who discussed some of the odder aspects of comic book storytelling. He relayed the complaint he received from a mother regarding an issue he had written in the 1970s where the villain tells the hero "I'll defeat you as easily as I'd flick a fly from my shoulder!" (great dialogue they had back then, too) Anyway, this mother wrote in and complained, asking how he could use such foul language in a comic book meant for her young boy, and she had filed complaints with the publisher and would never buy the comic again. Completely and utterly confused, he scoured the issue in question and finally found the culprit: "...AS EASILY AS I'D FLICK A FLY..." Because, as said above, the FLI looks like FU when written out and read quickly. Needless to say he commanded aspiring authors to never, ever name a character "CLINT FLICKER", for obvious reasons! :)
- Sal from Johnny Dangerously: "You farging, corksocking, somanumbatchin' ice-hole!"
- Disney's Recess cartoon has an episode about this very concept: A character invents his own fake cuss word, "whomp", to avoid getting into trouble when he injures himself. One day, when using it, he runs into a faculty member who figures that the word must be naughty. The kid is punished and brought before the school board. Take it from me, the episode does not whomp.
- Stan Brocky of SAC (long lost to me) used to say "Dirty Fragglerats!"
- Good night!
- Linda Blair's big line from The Exorcist was bowderized into "Your mother sews socks that smell!" on SaturdayNightLive? or some similar spoof-like entertainment outlet. (SeanOleary)
- SpongebobSquarepants? has a hilarious episode about cursing, and the fake cuss word of choice is actually an audio sample of dolphin noises!
- The Saturday morning cartoon from years ago called "Pirates of Darkwater".
- If you don't want to take your favorite deity's name in vain, just use a Sci-Fi deity. For instance,
- "Great Maker!" or "Valen's name!" from Babylon 5. "Abso-fraggin'-lutely! Did I say that right?"
- "By Jove!" (Jove being another name for the Roman god Jupiter)
- "By Klonos Gardolinium Guts!" (LensMan? Series)
- "Great Quetzalcoatl!" (pronounced: KET-zall-KOW-AH-tl) -- from an example in QED by RichardFeynman
- As Mork from Ork used to say, "Shazbot!"
- An episode of FatherTed? featuring a no-swearing picnic area includes the verb fup (with its gerund fupping), and the epithet backstard. FatherTed also popularized the genuine semi-swearword Feck outside of Ireland.
- A Doonesbury cartoon featuring a (fictionalized) Frank Sinatra contained obscene gerund and anatomical epithet in a few of its speech bubbles.
- Dr. Mondolo's Pandemonium Medicine Show had a great skit of a junior lumberjack writing home. All the curses by his mates were replaced with the word honk as in: "Who the honking honk put their honking honk in my honking beer."
- "Dumb slug in a ditch"
- "Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking, nerf-herder!" --Princes Leia Organa, "Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back"
- WcFields was known for his fake cussing.
- Frak from BattlestarGalactica.
- "Gorram" & "Ruttin" from the series "Firefly" http://fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=14&t=3442
- A classic episode of The X-Files (the one with the Air Force pilots flying around a fake flying saucer, who end up getting captured by real aliens, and Alex Trebeck portraying a Man in Black) featured a local redneck sheriff who swore like a longshoreman who'd just gotten kicked in the crotch. He strung together curse words like poetry, except--as The X-Files was a family show - every not-fit-for-TV word was replaced with the word "blank", as in "I'm gonna blank your blankin' blank, you God damn motherblankin' blank!" This was all done with a straight face.
- In the ChristmasStoryMovie, Ralphie's father was known throughout the Midwest for his ability to "weave a tapestry of profanity". However, on the movie's soundtrack, that tapestry was consistently replaced with chains of nonsense words like "fratching" and the like. And of course, who could forget OhFudge?...
- BillCosby? does a hilarious routine about himself as a (thoroughly angry) father trying not to swear in front of his children and how ridiculous it makes him sound.
To quote the late, great FlandersAndSwann
Ma's out, Pa's out, let's talk rude,
Pee Po Belly Bum Drawers.
Dance in the garden in the nude
Pee Po Belly Bum Drawers.
Let's write rude words all down the street
Stick out our tongues at the people we meet
Let's have an intellectual treat,
Pee Po Belly Bum Drawers.
Oh, you're such a mother lover
Get up on that mother-father!
Darn, Drat, Shucks
I always wonder how radio announcers catch callers in time IN the USA< almost all live radio/TV is really on a 5-7 seconds delay, allowing some poor sap whose job it is to monitor for obscenity to bleep out the disallowed words/ block the offending video. Not always successful, as the Feb 1, 2004 Superbowl Halftime show demonstrated
- The 2004 Super Bowl halftime show (in which singer Janet Jackson's bare breast was exposed; a no-no on broadcast TV in the US) was not delayed. Oh, nowadays they have automated voice-recognition equipment which will bleep dirty words; how well it works I don't know.
They can also be used as selling propositions--all the allure of the "industrial strength" versions; less social stigma:
- There is a current (2003) video game for the X-Box and DS called "Big Mutha Truckers"
series includes a concept called Adult Conspiracy that basically prohibits children to know bad words, to see panties and to learn the secret of stork summoning, and this prohibition is enforced physically. The children work around it by saying "mice" (as a smaller variation of "rats") and "pooh".
is a veritable fug fest. Legend has it that his use of "fug" got the book past the censors at various publishing houses.
The UK comedy show "A bit of Fry and Laurie" often used fake cuss words for comic effect - ones I recall are
- you fusking wangler
- sloblock (this was the answer given for the conundrum on countdown which was 'bollocks', incidentally the Giles Brandrith character had a jumper with the word twat knitted on the front)
My favourites are Sockcutter and Sheetslitter.
Also there was a band called Daft Kunz (pronounced as in the German)!
And in the RugRats?
there is a "child expert" Professor Lipschitz!
Lipschitz is a real last name that quite a few people have. I don't think it qualifies as a fake cuss word.
On talk radio, an idiom seems to be emerging to substitute the F-word and the S-word by actually saying "eff" or "ess". For example, "that really is a piece of bull-ess" or "un-effing-believable." I've heard this on Loveline (Adam Carola and Doctor Drew) and I think Howard Stern.
- effin' has been around for quite a while, and is available in both America and Britain at the very least. I'm quite fond of it, myself.
In IT/geek circles, the word fsck is often used as as a swear word, however I've only seen it in the written form, not spoken, where it's pronounced eff-ess-check for file system check - an often time consuming yet essential, program that runs upon startup of a unix machine to check the disks are all OK.
I've heard folks say the word "fsck;" they pronounced it "eff-sick." -- BrentNewhall
Replace voiced consonants/sounds with unvoiced, and vice versa.
B <--> P
D <--> T
G <--> K
J <--> ch
V <--> F
Z <--> S
zh <--> sh
Oh vug, what do you use for M and N? Cot tappid.
Our data-center flooded with sewage due to a clogged pipe and we want more euphemisms. List so far:
I taught some interns that RTFM was short for "Read The Famous Manual" and shortly got Email from KevinHagel
saying that something was "Famoused".
I recall some research on the effectiveness of words that relieve stress -- lots of short hard syllables.
And a conclusion that "Baden Powell" might be an effective swear word. But I have not been able to get away from greeting disaster
with the traditional four letter ones.
I like and use the term "fastard" for a person who is driving too fast (from a book in England on advanced driving). Clearly a portmanteaux word.
This very Wiki page (FakeCussWord
) was mentioned at http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003235.html
. In it, the author recommends that someone add 'goram' from Firefly. Well, here it is. From what I could glean from the minimal context in the show, 'goram' was the futurized 'goddam' which is an abbreviation of...well... As in "The show was canceled six goram
seasons too soon!" (RobMyers
Some fake cuss words, such as "drat" and "Zounds" (short for "God rot" and "Zeus's Wounds") are so old they are ... cuss words.
Including "bloody" according to some folk etymologists.
And we cannot forget the Orbits gum commercial where the characters rattle off long streams of fake cuss words:
You son of a biscuit eating bulldog!
What the french toast?
Did you think I wouldn't find out about your little doodoo-head cootie-queen.
Who are you calling a cootie-queen, you lint-licker!?
Pickle you kumquat! and so on...
In Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Olivia's butler Malvolio receives a letter written by Maria but in Olivia's handwriting; analyzing the script, Malvolio says, "By my life this is my lady's hand. These be her very C's, her U's and her T's and thus makes she her great P's." With the 'and' sounding like N (n'), just a gag the writer employed to get around actually spelling out cunt, and referencing its common use.
In high school I remember using 'speds' rather than 'retards' or 'tards' as a derogatory term for the special education students.
When I lived in the Los Angeles area, some morning DJs (Kevin & Bean from KROQ, I believe) came up with the insulting noun "Jackhole" -- clearly a combination of ass hole and jack ass -- to describe a jerk. Sounds dirtier than those from which it was derived.
In an episode of Jim Henson's Dinosaurs, a TV station airs the word 'smoo,' and the later adds 'flark' and 'kiss my glick.' The episode parodies the FCC.
Some examples from The Wheel of Time novels include "light", "burn me", "blood and ashes", "flaming", "blasted", "peace", "son of a spavined goat", "mother's milk in a cup", and "sheep swallop and bloody buttered onions!".
From Reboot: Daemon Rising
Bob: They *still* look after Nibbles?
Dot: I think they're just covering their ASCIIs, in case Megabyte comes back.
[Enzo looks up, surprised, at Dot.]
Bob: Ohhh, thanks for that thought.